- Unfair competition laws (passing off);
- Consumer protection acts;
- Agricultural quality control regimes;
- Trademark laws (collective and certification marks);
- Registration under specific sui generis GI laws.
- The Joint Proposal in TN/IP/W/10 sponsored by: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Chinese Taipei and the United States. These Members propose a purely voluntary system. Members wishing to participate would notify a list of GIs, which would then be recorded on a database administered by the WTO Secretariat. Participating Members would commit to ensure that their procedures include the provision to consult the database when making decisions regarding registration and protection of trademarks and GIs for wines and spirits in accordance with its domestic law. Non-participating Members would be encouraged, but would not be obliged, to consult the database.
- The EC proposal in TN/IP/W/11: it proposes a system whereby Members electing to participate would notify GIs into the system. Upon publication, other Members would have a 18-month period to lodge a reservation (i.e. to challenge) the notified GI on certain grounds, such as non-compliance with Article 22.1 definition or genericness. In the absence of challenges or if the challenges are withdrawn, the GI would be registered. Differences regarding challenges would be resolved through direct negotiations between the notifying and challenging Members. Once registered, the GI would produce an irrebuttable (i.e. no longer challengeable) presumption of eligibility for protection in the Members who have not challenged the GI or have withdrawn the challenges. This presumption also applies to non-participating Members that have not lodged reservations within the 18 months. The registered GI can be challenged at any time in participating Members on other grounds such as prior trademarks or grandfathered uses.
- The Hong Kong, China proposal in TN/IP/W/8: it proposes a voluntary system whereby a registered GI would create a rebuttable presumption or “prima facie evidence” in participating Members with regard to the ownership of the GI, compliance with Article 22.1 definition and protection in the country of origin. While Hong Kong, China is not a producer of wines and spirits, it has made the proposal for systemic reasons. Its concern is that failure in this negotiating group might endanger the whole Round.
Source is the presentation by Ms Thu-Lang Tran Wasescha, counsellor Intellectual Property Division, WTO here.
The other contentious issue is the extension to other products of the higher level of protection, besides wines and spirits, which article 23 TRIPs affords to GIs. There is no requirement for these products that the non-authorised use of the GI is misleading. My guess is that China's position on this issue is pro, because of China's evident interest in this area.
Naturally, China wants to be able to enforce against international unauthorised users of the GIs Zhangqui Scallion, Xianju Waxberries, Dalian Jinzhou Big Cherries, Qianxi Chestnuts, Ningxia Red Lycium, Pinggu Peach.